Ginger is one of those foods that I’ve known about for some time, without fulling appreciating how it benefits me. I nibbled on the slivers of ginger included with a veggie roll. I’ve taken powdered ginger in capsule form, because I knew it was good for joint and muscle pain. I added minced ginger cautiously to stir fries, a bit fearful of the strong flavor.

So what, exactly, does ginger do for us?


Why Add Ginger to the Diet

Anthony William writes, in Life Changing Foods, that ginger is one of the most important foods for giving us rest from a reactionary life. You know how it is. The day starts well enough, with a to-do list that looks very doable. Then the unexpected phone call comes, or an appliance breaks, or a client makes a demand…and suddenly we are in crisis mode. As each issue is handled, another one pops up.

An occasional day like this doesn’t greatly impact our health. But living in crisis mode day after day after day creates hyperactivity. Even at the end of the day, when the mind and emotions begin to calm down, the body can stay in reactive mode, creating a heightened, spastic state of being. This state leads to stress-related illnesses such as adrenal fatigue, acid reflux, sleep apnea, spastic bladder, insomnia, digestive issues, and chronic muscle pain.

Ginger is the ultimate anti-spasmodic. A cup of tea made from this herb can calm an upset stomach and relax tense muscles for up to 12 hours. Ginger acts as a tonic for the organs and muscles, telling the body to let go, all is well. Tight throat muscles, from speaking or yelling too much, or from holding in something that needs to be said, relax with the help of ginger. It also relieves tension headaches and flushes excess lactic acid from muscle tissues, into the blood stream, and out of the body.


Ginger’s Health Benefits

Ginger’s anti-spasmodic properties come from more than 60 trace minerals, 30+ amino acids, and more than 500 enzymes and coenzymes. All of these work together to calm reactivity. Ginger is also antiviral, antibacterial and anti-parasitic. It enhances DNA reconstruction and the body’s production of vitamin B12.

Try this herb to relieve these conditions and symptoms: pancreatitis, gallstones, colds, flus, Epstein Barr virus, laryngitis, thyroid disease, inflammation, anxiety, all types of cancer, Raynauld’s syndrome, sinus and ear infections, fungal infections, hiatal hernia, indigestion, rheumatoid arthritis, muscle spasms, muscle cramps, muscle pain and muscle tightness, bloating, dizziness, congestion, back pain, pelvic pain, food sensitivities, brain fog and high cholesterol.


Ginger Tea

The herb is available in root form, in the grocery store produce department. Store it in the refrigerator and cut off segments as needed. Use a spoon to scrape/peel ginger. It can be finely chopped or minced and added to stir fries, soups, curries and sauces. Add minced ginger to a pitcher of water and keep chilled, for a refreshing drink during the day. Or add minced or dried ginger to hot water for a spicy tea. I also run a small piece of peeled ginger through the juicer to add tangy flavor and health benefits to fruit juices.

Ginger can also be purchased in capsule form and taken as a daily supplement.

I’ve gone from being timid with ginger’s flavor and subtle heat, to using this root often in cooking, teas and flavored water. I add a teaspoon of minced ginger to 2 cups of boiling water, for a stress busting, muscle relaxing tea. (Start with half that much if it’s too spicy.) Adding a spoonful of raw organic honey and freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice creates such a fragrant and delicious hot tea. In fact, writing about this healing herb, I paused to prepare a cup of ginger tea!


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